The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs may have started small—as an art league with some 300 members and no permanent home. But since the year 2000, when the group opened its first two-building center, it has grown to five buildings on two campuses. Its two newest performance arts buildings on the Bonita Beach Road campus recently underwent major makeovers that upgraded the Karin & Robert Moe Auditorium to state-of-the-art film center status and added more lobby space, a dedicated dance studio, and a covered outdoor entry space. To take advantage of the new Film Center, the organization is—by popular demand—expanding film offerings to include an international film festival.
“We’re going to have a red-carpet opening for the performing arts center on November 22. It’s going to be a great year for us. We’ve got these new, renovated buildings, and we want to sort of kick them off in a really big way.” —Susan Bridges, President, Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs.
Riders in the Sky, coming on February 25 to Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs. Join the thrilling ride to yesteryear as the cowboy quartet salutes iconic western movie, music, and television star Roy Rogers.
Center for the Performing Arts Bonita Springs also sets comedy to music with the Italian musical Mama Cooks It Up April 9. Sit “tableside” and experience the chaotic dynamics and hilarious antics of an Italian family restaurant.
Reel Life: Moe Auditorium & Film Center
To celebrate the expansion and renovation of its performing arts campus, Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs has expanded its film presence with the Southern Circuit Independent Filmmakers Series and its inaugural Bonita Springs International Film Festival in February.
“We already had a strong foreign film following on Monday nights almost 52 weeks out of the year,” says Bridges. “That’s what sort of prompted us that there might be a different aspect of film we could address.”
Bonita Springs is one of only 18 Southern communities screening the 2015-16 circuit series. The Centers for the Arts will show the series on select Tuesday evenings. The new international film festival February 11–16 brings filmmakers—many award winners—from around the world to shine the spotlight on Bonita Springs, a little town with big cinematic clout. It will also showcase local talent, says Bridges. More than 70 films will range from “kidz shortz” to narrative films and feature documentaries in a daily mix of styles.
Workshops, filmmaker Q&As, and a gala opening are all on the calendar. “That’s what makes film festivals so fascinating,” says Bridges. “You have a whole variety of things to do.”